Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Night Gardener

What is Catherine Morland’s Reading ListThe idea came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured books, (and I still do), that I know, if Catherine Morland was real and alive, she would be reading or interested in reading.

It started with one review, and then before I knew it I had a list of thirty I was planning on reviewing. What can I say, other than:

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

So I have been wanting to read this book FOREVER. But every time I would check it out, I wouldn’t get a chance-I’d have too many books checked out, things happened, I’m too busy, etc-and I would have to return it.

Finally the stars aligned and I was able to read it. The book is written for middle schoolers and a quick read-made even quicker by the fact that as soon as I started reading it, it sucked me in.

I can’t put the book down

The book takes place during the Irish Potato Famine and two siblings emigrate from Ireland to England to work at a country estate: Kip and Molly. Molly is older and made the arrangements to work, job they are in dire need of as their parents are dead (something Molly has kept hidden from Kip). Molly uses stories to distract and cheer Kip, who is gifted with a green thumb, but suffers from lame leg.

As they travel to the Windsor manor they get stopped by a gypsy fortune teller who tells them the house they are going to is haunted.

Yes, years ago when the current Master Windsor was a boy something killed his family, he was the only one to survive, escaping to family in London. It was very mysterious and strange, and many believe it to be ghosts, a monster, or something.

Kip starts wondering if there is truth to the tales, but Molly ignores it. It can’t be true, she needs it to be not be true as they need these jobs.

Please, oh please! from Death Comes to Pemberley

When they get there, the house is nothing like Molly thought it would be. The house is beautiful but dirty and not kept up at all-things look like they haven’t been washed in forever, there is dust and dirt everywhere, etc.

Haunted house!

There is also a giant, black, gnarled, tree that is connected to the house, as if it grew into it or the house was built into the tree. Looking at it, it makes both Molly and Kip uncomfortable-although they are not sure why.

The family is very unusual, cold, and greedy. Mr. Windsor stutters, has no gumption, and is a pale dark haired man who is constantly trying to get money. He has a secret study that no one is allowed to enter. Constance is cold and harsh toward the “help” as she calls them, in fact she won’t let Kip in the house as her family might catch what he has and become cripples too (her word). She was used to the fine life in London and misses it. She has a ton of rings on her fingers and always seems to be getting more somehow. Very odd as the Windsor family complains about a lack of funds.

Hmm…

The son Alistair is greedy boy who is always eating candy and is cruel to his sister. But where does he get this candy from. He has dark hair like his father and mother.

Penny is the youngest and is greedy for stories and attention, but otherwise is a good child. She is enthralled with Molly’s copper hair, something she used to have. Molly thinks that is odd, even more so when she sees a portrait of them on the wall-all with bright skin, bright colored hair-nothing like the dour, dark haired, and ghostly pale skin they have now.

Hmm…

Kip starts working in the yard and loves growing things, but still feels unease about that tree. But there are things down in the yard he did not do. Things planted. But who could be doing that?

Hmm…

The longer they stay there the harder it is to leave. At night they have bad dreams and hear something stalking in the night. Penny tells Molly of a night man in the house clomping through and going outside. Molly doesn’t believe her…at first, but then one night, she is sneaking her brother into the house and the two see a man-a ghostly, creepy, scary man who works on the yard but espechially with the dark and disturbing tree.

Creepy…

Then Molly discovers a secret. The tree in the house grants you a wish of your heart-but once given it is impossible to stop going back. Constance Windsor had a ring that was worth nothing, but given before Mr. Windsor made money. He sold it when they needed funds and the tree gave her a copy, and she can’t stop trying to get it back.

Alistair’s favorite memory was when his father and him spent the day together and went to a candy store. He can’t stop getting or eating candy, trying to relive the memory. Penny has special books that are stories about her. For Molly she gets letters from her parents, letters that tell of the same stories she has been feeding her brother.

Wow!

But Molly quickly learns to be careful for what you wish for as the price might be more than you want to pay. She too finds herself becoming bound to the tree, her copper hair and imaginative self being sucked away as she waits for more letters. Will Molly and Kip be able to save themselves and the Windsor family? Or will they meet their end?

Hmmm…

I LOVED this book. It was so spooky and reminded me of other Gothic tales I grew up reading. I espechially loved the imagery of the tree feeding on them, stealing their souls essentially, taking from them and they know it is feeding off them-but they can’t stop it.

Creepy…

It was extremely spooky and creepy-just how I like it.

For more from Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Secrets of the Heart

For more Gothic Fiction, go to House of Salt and Sorrows

Horrorfest VIII: Strange Tales of Terror

It’s that time of the year again!

It is time for Horrorfest VIII!

HORRORFEST!!!!!!

31 Days of horror, suspense, mystery, gothic tales, Alfred Hitchcock, psycho killers, ghosts, murder, dystopian futures, monsters, and more!

I love film and here’s my chance to share it with you all.

A couple years ago I put Jane Austen in a costume and added it to my Horrorfest traditions. This year I choose to dress her up in a skull mask for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. As you know I’m Latino and that is a part of the way people celebrate those who have passed on. This year both my grandmother died in the beginning of the year, while one of my best friends died last month. While I can’t paint my face, my skin allergies, I can honor them in this way. Along with Jane!

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks!

To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II from the beginning, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

So every year we review a Vincent Price film. Here we go!

Once, there was even a man who had scissors for hands

What?

Yes I said that right, Vincent Price.

Many of you may not know this, but this was Vincent Price’s last film. When I first saw this, I actually knew about Vincent Price than Johnny Depp.

In fact Vincent Price was supposed to have more screentime, but unfortunately was very ill at and they had to cut back on those scenes. Sad for us.

We didn’t get as much

This also fills another yearly notch, a Tim Burton film.

I have always loved Edward Scissorhands

So let’s not wait any longer. On with the review.

So the film starts off with a grandma, Kim Boggs (Winona Ryder) telling her granddaughter a story-of a man with scissors for hands.

Flashback years ago-Peg Boggs is the Avon lady, along with being kindest and sweetest woman ever. She tries to sell in her Suburban neighborhood but none are interested.

She’s finally reached the end of her rope-but then spots the creepy, spooky castle that exists at the end of the block. She decides to go in there and that is when everything changes.

Inside the worn and crumbling mansion-which she enters by herself! Very unsafe-and meets Edward.

Edward was created by the Inventor, but is unfinished-he still has scissors for hands.

Peg feels bad for him and takes him home with her-he meets her husband Bill (Alan Arkin), who is completely checked out and doesn’t see or hear anything, and son Kevin. Kevin is fascinated by Edward and wants to show him off.

That’s awesome

As many times as I have watched this I am just amazed with the character of Peg. She reminds me of the mom in My Boyfriend’s Back, but sweeter, kinder, and not nearly as psychotic. She is always encouraging and helping Edward.

Peg Boggs: Are you alone? Do you live up here all by yourself? What happened to your face? No, I won’t hurt you. But at the very least, let me give you a good astringent. And this will help to prevent infection. What’s your name?

Edward: Edward.

Peg Boggs: Edward… I think you should just come home with me.

And if anyone tries to say anything about him, she will go mama bear on them.

Audience Member #3: But if you had regular hands you’d be like everyone else.

Edward: Yes, I know.

Host-TV: I think he’d like that.

Audience Member #4: Then no one would think you’re special. You wouldn’t be on TV or anything.

Peg Boggs: No matter what, Edward will always be special.

So Pegg let’s Edward stay in her daughter’s room while she is camping with friends on her waterbed. Really Peg, he has scissors for hands!

Anyways, the neighbors are fascinated and want to take a look at him, forcing themselves on them with a BBQ.

Edward starts trying to get used to living with people. If you carefully watch Edward in the beginning he is moving his hands all over-but as he watches the others and as the movie progresses learns to better control his hands and be more humanlike.

And I do have to say I like the costume of Edward. I like Buster Keaton look carrying over from Benny & Joon and his Cure/Tim Burton-inspired hair. It wouldn’t always work, but it does on him.

So Edward is a hit, especially after he starts creating colorful topiaries.

Kim returns home from her trip in the mountains with her boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall). The first time I saw this-I didn’t recognize him. I don’t what he did but he went from major nerd in the ’80s to playing football jocks in the ’90s. I  always think if him as being one of the lucky three who were able to go from “nerd” to “heartthrob”-him, John Cusack, and Patrick Dempsey.

Kim returns home after “camping” and goes to her room-only to find Edward. Proof why scissors and waterbeds don’t work out.

From lawns Edward goes into animal haircuts.

And here he becomes an even bigger sensation. But not everyone loves him.

Poor Edward-hopefully in love with Kim and he really is. At this time Depp and Ryder starting dating and even got engaged-and you can just see in his eyes how much he cares for her. In fact, re-watching it this time I realize they spend hardly any screentime together, but can carry the romance in their looks, body language, tone, etc.

Here is where we get a slight look into Tim Burton. The eccentric, weird kid in love with the cheerleader but the jock keeping them apart? Hmm…

Anyways, Edward keeps trying. Kevin takes him to school for show-and-tell, he is always there to lend a blade, and then begins haircuts.

Edward Scissorhands in Wonderland

In fact the scene when he first cuts hair is a wink at Sweeney Todd, which Tim Burton and Johnny Depp would make years later.

The sweetest thing is when Edward is going to cut Peg’s hair-he makes it extra special and neat for her-his mom. Aw.

Very cute

With all this Edward goes on TV and the idea of opening his own business is brought up.

Neighbor Joyce is going to help and takes him to the area where they will be having the salon. She then strips and assaults him. Edward flees and Joyce is very upset.

I’m out!

Peg is going to help Edward and takes him to the bank-but here is where I realize I am an adult. I mean I know I am one, after all I’m six and twenty-but here is where I KNOW. My first response was how will he get a loan? He has no social security card, birth certificate, anything. Poor Edward is sad and they are unsure what to do next.

Now let me take a moment here and just go over Vincent Price’s role in the film. Throughout the movie we have flashbacks to when Edward was first created. The Inventor (Vincent Price) has an assembly line making cookies. As he enjoys them he gets the idea to make his son-Edward.

I love these scenes as they are so endearing and said. What would have been if the creator lived. I love Vincent Price’s voice as well. I could just listen to him speak for hours.

One day Kim forgets her key and they are locked out of the house. Edward opens the door by picking the lock and Jim gets the idea to use Edward to rob his house. You see JIm is a Neanderthal that instead of getting a job to get his own car wants his dad to do it. And if dad refuses-well then the only way is to rob his house. What a baby-WAH BOO HOO I can’t get my way let’s make dad pay for it.

They lie to Edward that a guy stole Jim’s stuff and want to get it back. Kim feels bad and wants to stop, but they don’t listen to her. Instead-they go but when the alarm goes off abandon him.

Kim is angry wanting to go back, but they don’t listen to her and she doesn’t do anything. Now I like Kim, but she never tells the truth. It makes me so angry-all this awful things keep happening to Edward afterwards and they could have stopped it if she had just told the truth.

Very disappointed in you Kim.

So Edward is taken to jail and held until Peg and Bill can pick him up. After that he is a pariah. No one wants to be around him, have him cut their lawn, dog, or hair.

Kim gets angry with Jim, but he just taunts her with how she hasn’t said anything. Edward sees this and becomes even more angry as he did it for Kim and she is still with the jerk.

He gets depressed and ruins his creations-he also gets angsty and messes up the walls.

Peg is awesome-she continues to be there for Edward. She has him keep giving her haircuts to make him feel better. Se sweet.

So cute

All comes to a head on Christmas. Edward and Kim have grown closer. He works on an ice sculpture and accidentally nicks Kim. Jim comes and chases Edward off who goes on a rage destroying shrubbery.

Kim is done with Jim and he storms off drinking with his friend.

Kim’s hand is taken care of by her mom and it wasn’t a serious wound just a small one. They worry about Edward and go off to find him leaving Kim to wait in case he comes back or the neighbors come for the party.

Edward returns and they have a good moment, broken when a drunken Jim comes racing down the street and almost hits Kevin. Edward runs and pushes Kevin out of the way before he gets killed. But by doing so nicks Kevin, especially as Kevin doesn’t know what is going on.

Jim comes and tries to attack Edward, who nicks him too. Edward then storms off-followed by Kim. Meanwhile like in every monster movie the neighborhood storms together creating a mob to converge on Edward.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

In the mansion Kim approaches Edward, ecstatic that he is alive, but just like in Beauty and the Beast, Jim the jerk followed them and tries to kill Edward. He was going to shoot him-but Kim intercedes. Edward had not planned on doing anything-but when Jim slaps Kim he becomes angry and stabs Jim-throwing him out the window.

Kim and Edward see the dead body and know the mob won’t stop until Edward is dead. Kim kisses Edward and says good-bye.

Noooo!

Downstairs, the people are calling for Edward’s blood. Kim notices a machine and grabs a scissorhand-using it as proof that Edward is dead. She tells them it is all over.

This scene definitely has a Nightmare on Elm Street feel to it with the scissors-which Johnny Depp is also in.

That ends it and all goes back to how it should be-except the Boggs family. Years pass and they all move on-but Kim always remembers Edward.

And Edward never forgets her. His garden growing and he’s making an ice sculpture of Kim to grace his garden.

Such a great story with a gentle sweet character. I love this film and could just continue to watch it over and over again.

And this little extra for you guys!

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

For more Edward Scissorhands, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more Tim Burton, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Vincent Price, go to They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

For more Johnny Depp, go to It was a Horseman, a Dead One. Headless: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

For more Winona Ryder, go to 25 Films of Christmas

For more Anthony Michael Hall, go to Don’t You Forget About Me

For more teen monster films, go to I Died for You! I Came Back from the Dead for You! I Love You!: My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)

Is Christine the Ultimate Femme Fatale?

As this is Noir November #Noirvember, I thought it was no better time to talk about one of the top classic femme fatale.

I hate Christine, I think she was a horrid little urgh.

wordICan't say Toy Story

And I don’t use that lightly. First we see her all upset at Raul for being rude and condemning Erik

“Why do you condemn a man who you have never seen, whom no one knows about and whom you yourself know nothing?” (pg. 104)

But then she’s like I’m so scared of him. Aaah! She makes him sound evil, even though the story is hardly anything.

She heard this wonderful voice and begs him to teach her.

“From that time onward, the voice and I became great friends.” (pg. 116)

They spend years together as the phantom puts his all into teaching her and helping her. Then one day Christine spots Raoul and tells the phantom all about seeing him. And the voice disappears, Christine is anxious and scared. She knows she is nothing without him, she will shrivel up into a has-been.

The next day the Phantom comes and tells her he has to leave her.

“The voice was there, spoke to me with great sadness and told me plainly that, if I must bestow my heart on earth, there was nothing for the voice to do but go back to heaven.” (pg. 117)

You see, no threats. No harsh words. The Phantom would have simply backed off if she loved another. He would be heartbroken, but that would be the end of it. Except…

“I swore to the voice that you were no more than a brother to me nor ever would be and that my heart was incapable of any earthly love.” (pg. 117)

You see that!!!! You see that!!!

What???!!!

She purposely leads on the Phantom because she just wants to use him. She doesn’t love him, she doesn’t care for him, as she has stated before:

“[to Raoul] And that, dear, first revealed to me that I loved you.”

She knew, but she had a good thing and didn’t want to see it disappear. Now she tells Raoul that she “lied only because she thought she had no chance with Raoul.” But is that even the truth? She already admitted to playing the Phantom, she’s probably playing Raoul too. He’s rich and interested, and now she’s going to play the little helpless victim to catch him.

you're evil

So you know what, I never feel sorry for her. She created this whole mess as she only cared about herself and not what her false declarations did to people. She almost kills hundreds because of her selfishness. I feel bad for the Phantom. Poor guy, who is completely crushed by her. He picked the wrong woman.

Poor guy

And she goes on about being captured by a madman and held prisoner, BUT he treats her well. He respects her as a thing of beauty and doesn’t harm her or touch her. And when she is upset and wants to leave?

“And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told him that I could only despise him if he did not, then and there, give me my liberty…he offered it…” (pg. 125)

See he isn’t a crazy killer or psychotic (yet). He loves her and respects her wishes. She’s the viper, she’s evil as she chooses to stay there.

“For he sang. And I listened…and stayed!” (pg. 125)

Seriously?

So she falls asleep and then wakes up in a whole different room, properly freaked. BUT then spots a note left to her by the Phantom.

“My dear Christine, you need have no concern as to your fate. You have no better nor more respectful friend in the world than myself.” (pg. 126)

Wow

He just let her alone, as he sees her as the kindest and most divine woman; respecting her. He also purchases tons of things for her in order to make the place truly home.

But Christine is not happy. She wants out. She is angry with the Phantom, even though she is packed with beautiful gifts. All she wants is to see his face as “no honest man would wear a mask.” But that is the one place Erik won’t give.

Then Erik mentions how most of her time with him will be musical practice. She is angry as he wants her to stay five days, then he will let her go again as she will either love him (hope) or pity him. But Christine is now upset that he won’t let her go now, but hey he offered you before.

Seriously

The real issue Christine has with the Phantom is his skull-like face. This is what breaks her and makes her horrified and disgusted.She can’t live well enough alone, and asks him to play for her, plotting her deception. When he is too worked up in the music she snatches the mask off. 

She tells Raoul this as each visit “increased her horror.”

Now what’s really interesting is after Christine has told her tale, Raoul asks her:

“You are frightened…but do you love me? If Erik were good-looking, would you love me, Christine?” (pg. 132)

Hmm…

And what does Christine say? Does she say NEVER, I don’t love him I LOVE YOU? No. Does she say that Erik is a horrible person, and she could never love him? No. Now what does she say?

“She rose in her turn, and put her two trembling arms round the young man’s neck and said: ‘Oh my betrothed of a day, if I did not love you, I would not give you my lips! Take them, for the first time and the last.” (pg. 132)

You see that!!! You see that!!! SHE NEVER ANSWERS THE QUESTION!!!! And you know why???!!! Because the answer is NO! She don’t love you Raoul, she’s using you just as she used Erik. She could have easily answered she loved you, but instead she deflected the question and gave you a kiss. I hate when people do that, urgh!

Let me tell you something, if you ever are having a serious and deep conversation with someone and they deflect you with a kiss, hug, sex, whatever, you need to get out of that relationship because they are not serious about you. Should’ve seen it Raoul, except you were to busy focusing on that kiss that you missed it.

Meanwhile, Christine, the little actress starts playing Erik to the areas he has been insecure. She tells him that he is genius, his music causes her to forget his looks. She even burns his mask to symbolize that she is “above” such things. In reality she is playing him  from every angle, earning his trust so that he is willing to believe she actually loves him and won’t harm him. Letting her go.

Christine acts as if he is a true monster, but the Phantom has a compassionate heart. She asks if she can pretend to “be engaged”, playacting, with Raoul and the Phantom agrees.

“He said, ‘I trust you, Christine. M. de Chagny [Raoul] is in love with you and going abraod. Before he goes, I want him to be as happy as I am.” (pg. 134)

How can someone be unfeeling and a loser when they consider what their arch rival’s is feeling?

See Erik isn’t the monster, Christine is! She just goes and destroys two men’s lives-never thinking about them or how it affect them; all she cares is about her self.

Yeah, that’s why I hate Christine Daaé.

For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to President of the “I Don’t Like Raoul Fanclub”

For more on Christine Daaé, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

For more femme fatales, go to That Girl is Poison

Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.

So I love The Mummy (1932)

And The Mummy (1999)

But this one was horrible!

Ugh.

The plot made no sense at all!!!

Help me! I’m confused!

There was no cool Egyptian stuff or history or action at all. It didn’t even take place in Egypt but in England!

And they threw in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and didn’t explain why:

This is pretty much how I felt through the whole film:

It was just horrible from beginning to end, didn’t explain, and I didn’t care about any of the characters. I’d rather watch him:

Or him:

Or her:

Or her:

Any day.

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to What Do They Want You For? Murder: Silver Streak (1976)

For more mummy films, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

For more Tom Cruise, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

For The Mummy (1932), go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

For more Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series (1992)

For more sucky films, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

For more sucky remakes, go to Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

Jason’s Out There… Watching… Ready to Kill… Thirsty for Young Blood: Friday the 13th, Part II (1981)

And if you listen to the old-timers in town, they’ll tell you he’s still out there, some sort of demented creature, surviving in the wilderness, full grown by now… stalking…Jason’s out there… watching… always on the prowl for intruders… ready to kill… ready to devour… thirsty for young blood.

So today is Friday the 13th!

And you know what that means! Time for one of my traditions!

Suit up in Ghostbusters’ clothing!

That’s how I roll

Pick up some pizza:

And watch some horror films!!!!

And of course as this isFriday the 13th in October, you all know exactly which film I will be reviewing.

Yep, this is the whole reason why I moved all the TV episodes to Tuesdays. So I could review Friday the 13th on Friday the 13th.

I was so busy with my movie marathon:

That I wasn’t able to post my review in time. I will be updating soon though. Promise! Until then:

And if you listen to the old-timers in town, they’ll tell you he’s still out there, some sort of demented creature, surviving in the wilderness, full grown by now… stalking…Jason’s out there… watching… always on the prowl for intruders… ready to kill… ready to devour… thirsty for young blood.

So you all know how I don’t like sequels:

But I decided to watch this and surprised myself in enjoying it more than I thought.

Slow down everyone, I haven’t changed that much. I didn’t say that I loved it, but I did enjoy it a lot more than I thought I wouldSo the film starts off with a review of what happened at the end of the original Friday the 13thWhen the real killer’s identity was discovered, the fight, almost drowning in the lake, etc.

Pamela Voorhees: [high voice] Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don’t let her get away, Mommy! Don’t let her live!
[normal voice]
Pamela Voorhees: I won’t, Jason. I won’t!

It has been two months since then, and Alice has been horrified with nightmares and flashbacks. One night she has had a bad one when Jason comes and kills her.

Why is Jason so old? In the first one he died as a child. If he becomes a ghost/monster/zombie thingy-why is he so old? He should have stayed a child. Like in the original film.

Friday the 13th (1980)

They never say why, just that he never died fully and was living on his own in the woods hunting, etc. But if he never died, than why was his mother so angry and trying to get revenge on the people who caused her son’s death. The fact that he is still alive ruins all the motivations and stuff from the first.

I will say, that Jason may be a crazy, psycho, serial killer-but he is courteous. After he kills Alice he turns off the kettle that Alice was using to make tea. That was nice of him.

Oh, well

Five years pass and Paul is a camp director, having called in the new recruits. He’s training them in the basics before the summer season starts. They aren’t at Camp Crystal Lake, like in the original, but right next door. Paul warns them of the story of Jason, but doesn’t believe in him or the things he “did”.

The next night some of the counselors go out to party in the town bar, while others have to stay behind. Two of them got caught by the police checking out Camp Blood, one guy is in a wheelchair and in training for the olympics, one girl wants to do with the olympic guy, one girl is searching for her dog, and the last guy is there to try and make it with one of the girls. Of course, Jason starts taking them all out one by one.

The reason why I liked this film was that the characters were actually not too dumb, and you felt bad that they died. I mean there was still sex scenes (this is Friday the 13th), Vicky walks around outside in her underwear to get something from the car (why?), and one of the ladies wears a shirt and shorts that cover nothing and walks around naked for a chunk of time.

But while I only cared for like two in the other film, in this one I was sad each time they were taken out.

So sad

But then Paul and his assistant Ginny come back. I don’t know why, but Jason doesn’t kill Paul-he knocks him out. Ginny has to run from him and she is hardcore. She attacks him, tries to trick him into thinking she’s his mother, and does the final knockout. Pretty sweet!

But the end is weird. Did Paul die? Why didn’t Jason kill Ginny? What’s real and what is a dream?

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to A Survivor… Unclouded By Conscience, Remorse, or Delusions of Morality: Alien (1979)

For more on Friday the 13th, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

For more camp movies, go to Someone Very Special: The Addam’s Family Values (1993)

For more on the holiday Friday the 13th, go to Don’t Fear the Reaper

For more slasher films, go to Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

For more serial killers, go to Is She Mrs. X?: So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

For more sequels, go to I Don’t Kill People Anymore: Psycho II (1983)

For more ’80s films, go to China is Here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, They’ve Been Fighting for Centuries: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Something’s Scratching at the Window

The other day I woke up at four in the morning, having fallen asleep while watching TV, with an upset stomach. It turned out to be pre-period cramps.

 

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

As I knew it was going to be impossible to go back to sleep right away, I decided to go to the bathroom and brush my teeth, wash my face, maybe do a mask or scrub, etc.-until the pain passed. While I was in the bathroom I heard a noise that went like this:

Scritch, scritch, scritch, scrith…

It sounded as if something was clawing under the window.

So the window in the bathroom is really old. It is a slat window that has to be opened with a lever, and because of its age it never shuts completely. And the acoustics are really good there as people who are across the yard sound as if they are right next to you.

Ugh.

So at first I wasn’t freaked out. I figured it must be a raccoon or possum or something just digging around in the yard or on a trash can.

Meh.

But then I heard it again and it was louder…and it wouldn’t stop…and it sounded like it was right next to me.

Ahhh!

For a split second my mind went to there is a monster out there:

In fact it made me think of that old “scary” story that everyone told at slumber parties; where the two people are stranded in a car and the boyfriend leaves to go for help. While he is gone the girlfriend continuously hears a scratch, scratch, scratch (or tap, tap, tap) while the boyfriend is gone. In the end, a psycho has been scratching at her car or the boyfriend has been killed and his body is hanging overhead.

I’m sure you’ve heard one of the versions of it.

So yes, I went there but then I bounced back. I was certain it was no big deal and going to scare off whatever animal was making that noise.

The gun is a metaphor. I wasn’t going to shoot any animals.

I was just about to walk out of the bathroom and go check outside when something jumped into the window!!!!!!!!!!

And then I saw clawed fingers poking into the cracks of the window!!!!!!!

And I have to admit:

But then this thing started to meow angrily.

And my brain realized that the clawed fingers were just the clawed paws of my cat. Lack of sleep, cramps, it being early morning, whatever-had made me not realize that the hands I saw were tiny cat paws not monster hands.

Yes, since I had fallen asleep watching TV, I didn’t bring my cat in and I guess she heard me in the bathroom, or saw the light-but somehow figured out I was in there and was trying to get my attention to let her in.

But hey, I will take being trolled by my cat over a real psychopath (or rodent) scratching under my window any day.

For more of my scary adventures, go to A Bump in the Night

For more on cats, go to Cat Lovers All Know This

For more stories from my everyday life, go to Road Rage

If this stokes your appetite for horror, check out Horrorfest, Horrorfest II, Horrorfest  III, Horrorfest IV, & Horrorfest V

Le Fantôme de l’Opéra

Day 20) T is for Translated: Choose a book that was Translated from one language to English

PhantomoftheOpera

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Yes, I know I said I wouldn’t talk about this book. However, as I was trying to think of books I like that were originally in another language, I couldn’t think of anything but this book and Jules Verne’s novels.

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I already reviewed two Verne books, so with nothing else coming to mind, I decided to review The Phantom of the Opera.

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Gaston Leroux studied to be a lawyer, but when his father died, he found himself a millionaire. He immediately quit school and went on a big spending/gambling spree losing everything.

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Afterwards, he began to work for a newspaper, doubling as a court reporter and a drama critic. As he toured the opera, ballets, plays, etc.; and heard different stories about what went on in the theaters, it gave him an idea.

ooh!

With that he published The Phantom of the Opera as a serial from 1909-1910, being translated and published in English in 1911. The story is told from the viewpoint of an interviewer as he researches his subject and tries to tell the history of this Phantom.

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Growing up I just loved this book so much. I used to check out the children’s version again and again; graduating to the unabridged when I grew older.

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So here I am going to do a slightly different post, I am going to focus on one character: the Phantom.

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I just love him:

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Erik is a wanderer. After being hurt by so many he no longer considers him as having an nationality or family.

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His pain originates from when he was a child and his own parents were too disgusted to see his “true form.”

“When my own father never saw me and when my mother, so as not to see me, made me a present of my first mask.” (pg. 130)

Aw, man.

Aw, man.

He is so often used to being considered as death, that he has even prepared him room as such. All in black and even sleeps in a coffin. How sad is that? Poor guy!

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But even in that ugliness and sadness there is beauty. He is a musical genius with a voice like no other.

“He heard a very captivating voice…Raoul had never heard anything more absolutely and heroically sweet, more gloriously insidious, more delicate, more powerful, in short, more irresistibly triumphant…nothing could describe the passion with which the voice sang…” (pg. 98)

Erik is very intelligent and has done many things before coming to the opera house and meeting Christine.

“You must not think, Raoul, that he [Erik] is simply a man who amuses himself by living underground. He does things that no man could do; he knows things which nobody in the world knows.” (pg. 135)

I mean he built THAT opera house and created numerous trap doors, spring sets, his own secret underground home. And that’s not the only thing he has created. He built palaces for Sultans and Kings; but always being betrayed by them as they want him dead so that they alone can posses his genius.

right in the feels broken heart

One day the Phantom comes upon Christine and decides to help assist her to become a fantastic singer.

“From that time onward, the voice and I became great friends.” (pg. 116)

They spend years together as the Phantom puts his all into teaching her and helping her. Then one day Christine spots Raoul and tells the phantom all about seeing him. And the voice disappears. Christine is anxious and scared. She knows she is nothing without him, she will shrivel up into a has-been.

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The next day the Phantom comes and tells her he has to leave her.

“The voice was there, spoke to me with great sadness and told me plainly that, if I must bestow my heart on earth, there was nothing for the voice to do but go back to heaven.” (pg. 117)

You see, no threats. No harsh words. The Phantom would have simply backed off if she loved another. He would be heartbroken, but that would be the end of it. Except…

“I swore to the voice that you were no more than a brother to me nor ever would be and that my heart was incapable of any earthly love.” (pg. 117)

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You see that!!!! You see that!!! She purposely leads on the Phantom because she just wants to use him. She doesn’t love him, she doesn’t care for him, as she has stated before:

“[to Raoul] And that, dear, first revealed to me that I loved you.” (pg. 117)

you're evil

She knew, but she had a good thing and didn’t want to see it disappear. Now she tells Raoul that she “lied only because she thought she had no chance with Raoul.” But is that even the truth? She already admitted to playing the Phantom, she’s probably playing Raoul too. He’s rich and interested, and now she’s going to play the little helpless victim to catch him.

hate her

So you know what, I never feel sorry for her. She created this whole mess as she only cared about herself and not what her false declarations did to people. She almost kills hundreds because of her selfishness. I feel bad for the Phantom. Poor guy, who is completely crushed by her. He picked the wrong woman.

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Then the Phantom carries her off underground into his home.

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Now I admit, his carrying her off wasn’t the right thing to do. He should have asked her instead of just carrying her like that. But what does he do next? He confesses that he isn’t an angel or teacher but that he is the Phantom of the Opera, its architect, etc.

“He [Erik] feels me with horror and I do not hate him. How can I hate him Raoul? Think of Erik at my feet…he accuses himself, he curses himself, he implores my forgiveness!…He loves me! He lays at my feet an immense and tragic love…He has carried me off for love!” (pg. 125)

iLoveyou

He treats her wonderfully. He respects her as a thing of beauty and doesn’t harm her or touch her. And when she is upset and wants to leave?

“And, when I stood up, Raoul, and told him that I could only despise him if he did not, then and there, give me my liberty…he offered it…” (pg. 125)

See he isn’t a crazy killer or psychotic (yet). He loves her and respects her wishes. She’s the viper, she’s evil as she chooses to stay there even though she doesn’t love him, she just wants to use him.

“For he sang. And I listened…and stayed!” (pg. 125)

She falls asleep and then wakes up in a whole different room, properly freaked. BUT then spots a note left to her by the Phantom.

“My dear Christine, you need have no concern as to your fate. You have no better nor more respectful friend in the world than myself.” (pg. 126)

He just let her alone, as he sees her as the kindest and most divine woman; respecting her. He also purchases tons of things for her in order to make the place truly home.

How sweet!

How sweet!

But Christine is not happy. She wants out. She is angry with the Phantom, even though he has given her everything! All she wants is to see his face as “no honest man would wear a mask.” But that is the one place Erik won’t give.

No thank youhowaboutno

Then Erik mentions how most of her time with him will be musical practice. She is angry as he wants her to stay five days, then he will let her go again as she will either love him (hope) or pity him. But Christine is now upset that he won’t let her go now, but hey he offered you before.

She cannot make up her mind.

She cannot make up her mind.

The real issue Christine has with the Phantom is his skull-like face. This is what breaks her and makes her horrified and disgusted. She can’t leave well enough alone, and asks him to play for her, plotting her deception. When he is too worked up in the music she snatches the mask off.

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Now she thinks he is disgusting, and here is where he makes his first incredibly bad decision.

big mistake

He tells Christine that he can’t let her go. He knows that she sees him only as a monster, and if returned to the surface would tell others of the “monster”, causing them to be riled up, create a mob, and set out to kill him.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Christine, the little actress she is, starts playing to the areas he has been insecure. She tells him that he is genius, his music causes her to forget his looks. She even burns his mask to symbolize that she is “above” such things. In reality she is playing him  from every angle, earning his trust so that he is willing to believe she actually loves him and won’t harm him. Letting her go.

you're evil

Christine acts as if he is a true monster, but the Phantom has a compassionate heart. She asks if she can pretend to “be engaged”, playacting, with Raoul and the Phantom agrees.

“He said, ‘I trust you, Christine. M. de Chagny [Raoul] is in love with you and going abroad. Before he goes, I want him to be as happy as I am.” (pg. 134)

How can someone be unfeeling when they consider what their arch rival’s feelings?

How sweet!

How sweet!

Eventually, the Phantom figures out the truth, that this was all a set up and steals Christine away; that final act of betrayal being the straw that broke the camels back.

HurtMeHurtYouBack

I mean he really believed that someone had fallen in love with him.

“It is my wish…my wish to let her go; and she will come again…for she loves me!…All this will end in marriage…” (pg. 206)

He thinks his dream and true love is in his grasp!

“…Now I want to live like everybody else. I want a wife like everybody else and to take her out on Sundays. I have invented a mask that makes me look like anybody…All I have ever wanted was to be loved for myself…” (214)

The thing I really hate about the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is how the changed the relationship between Christine and the Phantom with her thinking if him as her father and making Raoul less of the pansy he was. But most of all they make the Phantom a total psychi and murderer. He doesn’t really kill people in the book, unless it is for self-preservation. We only witness three: two were out trying to get him, and the third he accidentally kills Raoul’s brother, who when searching for him falls into a trap. The Phantom really regrets having killed him. And he also does bring the chandelier down, which injures and kills. How many, we don’t know.

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

He then gives Christina an option. She can choose Raoul and the Opera house will be blown up (as Erik has hidden dynamite under the floor when he built it) or she can choose him and save everyone. I have to admit that forcing her to choose marrying him was not right or what she should do, but people who have been betrayed often do not think logically but just want to heart the person who hurt them.

broken-heart-breakYouPatrick

But in the end he let’s Christine go, because she finally gave him the one thing he has most wanted: companionship and love:

“I tell you I kissed her just like that, on her forehead…and she did not draw back her forehead from my lips! (pg. 247)

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Poor Erik!

“Poor, unhappy Erik! Shall we pity him? Shall we curse him? He asked only to be “some one,” like everybody else. But he was too ugly! And he had to hide his genius or use it to play tricks with, when, with an ordinary face, he would have been one of the most distinguished of mankind! He had a heart that could have held the empire of the world; and, in the end, he had to content himself with a cellar. Ah, yes, we must pity the opera ghost.” (pg. 259)

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

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 I think what resonates the most with this story is how relatable the Phantom was. Who of us hasn’t at one time hated how we looked?

anthony-michael-hall-brian-insecure-quotes-the breakfast club see myself don't like what i see insecure body image

Had our heart broken:

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Been betrayed by someone we thought cared about us?

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Or felt we hadn’t received the recognition we deserved?

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What else can I say?

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Why yes I do!

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Starting in 2015, I decided to dress up “Jane Austen” in Halloween costumes. Check her out as the Bride of Frankenstein.

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Stupid Not to Read Jane Austen Quote

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

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For more on The Phantom of the Opera, go to How to Meet the Perfect Guy

For more on Gaston Leroux, go to Fantom of the Opera

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Silverstein, go to The End by Silverstein

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Today’s carol is The First White Christmas from the claymation, The First Christmas:The Story of the First Christmas Snow.

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I couldn’t find any info on the song, but they play it in the opening and ending credits. I always thought it was cute, and it tends to get stuck in my head.

I couldn’t find a video unfortunately, or a good link to watch the film (as they took down the best one).

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For more on The First Christmas:The Story of the First Christmas Snow, go to 25 More Films of Christmas

For more Christmas Carols, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Day 15) O is for Ocean: Choose a book that takes place on or in the Ocean

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Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

This is one of my top favorite books.

Iloveit love

I started reading this book the same way I started reading all the classics, The Great Illustrated Classics collection at my local library.

And this is one of my all-time favorite stories. Just like Doc Brown

Doc Brown: So do I. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, my absolute favorite.

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As I mentioned before I love Jules Verne. I’ve read almost everything by him.

loveitSupernatural

My favorite thing about this novel is everything they see and all the adventures they go on.

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Another amazing thing was how Verne was so ahead of his time. In his novel Captain Nemo has electric lights on his submarine, it wasn’t until more than thirty years that was possible. He just had all these ideas or improvements that inspired people to create and copy them.

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This book also has some solid math and science, based on current inventions of the time and what was known. It is just a fantastic book!

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The book takes place in 1866. All the countries are agog as something seems to be destroying ships. Something…or some monster!

creature from the black lagoon

They call in the top people to launch an expedition to destroy whatever it is that is doing this to them. One of the people called in is Professor Pierre Aronnax, a marine biologist. He believes that the creature is something from the very depths of the oceans, as it would need incredible strength to survive that and destroy the ships the way it does.

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Maybe a giant sea monster or narwhale?

He takes along his valet, Conseil, and the two meet and become good friends with Canadian Whaler, Ned Land, as they sail the sea searching for the creature.

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They eventually find the creature, which rips apart the ships set after it. The only crew members to survive are Professor Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned. They try to find something to grab onto and drift on, when they grasp the monster and discover it is not a sea creature after all…

Say What

It is a super advanced submarine.

OMG gasp

They are taken inside and saved by the captain, Captain Nemo. He decides to let them live because he greatly appreciates the intellect and things that Professor Aronnax has written.

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But they are forced to remain on the ship forevermore, as they can not be returned to the surface. Saved but not free.

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Conseil enjoys being underwater at first, but begins to wish for home. Ned has never liked being under the water, and from the beginning has been trying to figure out a way to escape their imprisonment. The only one who is thrilled with this arrangement is Professor Aronnax, as being a marine biologist this is the opportunity of a lifetime to learn about what really happens in the deep blue.

What is under the water?

What is under the water?

They travel 20,000 leagues around the world; being the firsts to look upon Antarctica (as it wasn’t officially visited until 1911), battle a squad of sperm whales, visit shipwrecks, walk along the ocean floor, witness all kinds of marine life, fight off cannibal islanders, and are attacked by a giant squid in one of the most harrowing battles in literature.

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As they journey they discover that their Captain has a lot of bitterness and rage; attacking ships because of an old pain.

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For one who is so stone faced and set in his ways, will they ever be able to convince him to set them free? Or will they be stuck under the sea forever?

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Yep just one fantastic read you need to check out for yourself.

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No matter how many times I read this book it is still one wild ride! What can I say?

readclassics

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

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For more on 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, go to Heaven on Earth

For more Jules Verne, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days

For more ocean adventures, go to I Finally Read Moby-Dick

For more marine biologists, go to  You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

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Today’s pick is Carol of the Bells. This song was composed by Mykola Leontovych, and written by Peter J. Wilhousky in 1914.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Dr.Jekyll&MrHyde

“You became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.

It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!

Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!”

So Horrorfest this year got off to a rough start. It’s not that I wasn’t excited for it or not eager to review horror films, I was just floundering. I wasn’t sure what to do for it, I mean after all last year was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. It was planned out way in advance, was half done by the time October rolled around, had a werewolf theme, etc. How could I top that? What could I do? Should I do another theme? I was just so unsure.

I don't know what to do

So I thought and thought and begin reviewing and planning a few things. I don’t know if this year will be as good as last years, but here we go!!!

Horror Films

So of course the most difficult thing in every Horrorfest, is what movie to start with and which to end. The first year I did Carnival of Souls (1962) and Halloween (1978); the second year The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Children of the Corn (1984); and the third year The Wolf Man (1941) and The Wolfman (2010).

After a looooooooong deliberation, I finally chose my final post. That left the first post which created an even looooooooooooooonger debate. But I finally picked, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Dr.Jekyll&MrHyde

So before we start the review, let me give you a little background information. This film is based on the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and is set in Victorian England. It was turned into a play, in which the writer added in two love interests; and then adapted into a silent film in the 1920s. This version is the first with sound, and while similar to the book has made quite a few changes. This film came out in 1931, and is a Pre-Code film. That means this film came out before the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was created and started rating things. So this film has a lot of things that wouldn’t be acceptable later to show on the big screen, in fact when they rereleased it in theaters they had to cut part of the film (added back in on VHS & DVD).

keanu Whoa

This film also had some different ways of filming (more on that later) and landed Fredric March an Oscar for his performance. This was back when the Academy wasn’t so hoity-toity, today they wouldn’t nominate anyone in a horror film unless it was for makeup, sound, or film editing.

The Academy SUCKS!

The Academy SUCKS!

While in the book the story is told not through Dr. Jekykll, but his friend who discovers the whole story, they changed it so that all is through his point of view.

Anyways, lets begin the review.

So our film starts out with the credits and creepy organ music that sets the mood, and shivers down your spine!

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We then are shown a pair of hands playing organ music. Oh early horror movies, you almost always had an organ in there somewhere.

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But unlike The Phantom of the Opera or Dracula, this music is light and airy, very sweet.

Dr. Jekyll (Fredric March) continues to play when his butler tells him that he must leave soon if he is to reach his lecture hall in time and teach his lesson. Dr. Jekyll doesn’t want to quit his playing, but gets up to go.

Now here is one of the things that director Rouben Mamoulian did much, much differently. The camera angles for the first three minutes of the film are shot from Dr. Jekyll’s point of view, we don’t see his face.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

I know. Very unusual but the effect works. We see him doing the mundane things and talking to his butler, but all I can think is what he looks like. I mean I know what Fredrich March looks like, but will he look the same here? Will they make him older like in the book? Will he be handsome? I just have got to see his face!!!!

Suspense have to know

And when we are finally shown it in the mirror:

DrJekyll&MrHyde

Wow, what a hunk.

swoon dreamy

So after we are shown his face we go back to seeing through his eyes. Throughout the film while they switch back and forth between first person and observer point of view, the film is a majority from an observer/third point of view like most films.

So Dr. Jekyll heads to the University in his horse-drawn carriage. And one thing you notice right away, everyone likes or admires him. His butler, the carriage driver, the students think he’s spectacular, and even the older scholars enjoy his lectures and ideas.

And I truly mean it

So Dr. Jekyll begins his lecture and it is not what anyone has expected. Instead of discussing a part of the physical body, he chooses to discuss the Soul of Man. Dr. Jekyll defines that every person has two pieces to them. One side is constantly striving for the nobility of life, morals, i.e. the “Good side”. The other only cares for satisfying their desires and giving in to temptation, i.e. the “Bad side”.

Both are in an eternal struggle:

Vampires Suck Shovel Fight

The Good side wants to be good all the time, but is constantly tempted to do evil. The Bad wants to do whatever it wants, but feels remorse at the things it does. Both are chained together, with one taking more control than the other, be it bad or good. What Dr. Jekyll proposes is to seperate the two, so that the bad can be destroyed and the good be the only left.

Say What

Everyone is appalled!What could he be thinking? Why would he even consider it?

In fact, Dr Jekyll has already started his experiment and research looks as if it could be possible.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

After the lecture ends, people are split in how they feel about it. The young students laugh it off as a joke, split the soul in two, not even possible. The older attendees are in complete shock! How dare he blaspheme and cross into God’s territory!!!

No thank youhowaboutno

Dr. Jekyll’s friend, Dr. Layon, warns him to give the whole thing up. That this will not end well at all for him. But Dr. Jekyll won’t listen, as he believes that science must push boundaries. There is no lines to consider, all is fair game.

Game of thrones jon Snow kit harrington I know how

Dr. Layon reminds Dr. Jekyll of the appointment they have with the Countess, but Dr. Jekyll tells him he’s not going, but heading to the poor’s hospital. Dr. Layon tells him that he must, certain things are expected of his caliber of gentlemen, but Dr. Jekyll refuses,

Dr. Jekyll: The things one can’t do are the things I want to.

So he goes to the hospital and helps a poor girl, put down her crutches and overcome her fear of walking. Dr. Jekyll would rather help someone who truly needs it, than a hypochondriac that just wants attention.

He is planning on operating on a woman, when Dr. Lanyon comes to bring him to dinner at General Carew’s house, with Jekyll’s fiancé Muriel. But Jekyll refuses dinner, saying he must operate now. So Dr. Lanyon leaves.

After dinner there is dancing and Muriel has had to do with other men, as Dr. Jekyll is still not there. He finally arrives, but Muriel is justifiably upset.

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She quickly forgives him and they go off to the garden to talk. Here we see another side of Dr. Jekyll. He’s no longer the cool, collected, serious doctor; but giddy, adorable, and in love. In fact he wants to get married now.

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It must be so strange for a genius who has been solely concentrated on science, logic, cold hard facts; to find himself with this sudden rush of emotion and desire. It’d be like if Sherlock Holmes met a woman he wanted to marry and have babies. So sudden, strange, and hard to control.

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The General won’t let them marry immediately as he feels that such a short engagement would be indecent (hint: mean that his daughter is not a virgin, is pregnant, or has done other promiscuous/indecent things.) In his defense, he is trying to protect his daughter’s reputation, but this has disastrous results.

Spoke too soon

Dr. Jekyll is a man that once he gets an idea, strives constantly until he come to a conclusion or figured a solution to his problem. He isn’t used to “waiting”.

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To make this even worse, this is a man who has denied himself any kind of passionate emotions. He has always strived to be a good person, but even more so, he has denied himself all emotions for logic, science, etc. Now Muriel has awakened a side of him that he had locked up and all these emotions are coming out.

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It is something that Dr. Jekyll has no way of gageing or keeping in check. And instead of having the ability to wait or hold on, he wants it NOW!

Now as I mentioned before, in the book Dr. Jekyll isn’t engaged, his only love was knowledge, science, etc.: so this question only applies to the film. But if the General allowed them to get married now, would Dr. Jekyll have continued his quest for splitting the soul? Or would he have been too preoccupied with married life?

The plot thickens

After Dr. Jekyll is shot down by the General, he and Dr. Layon leave. Dr. Jekyll is so angry and incensed that he is being denied. Why must we be unable to have the things we want?

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He is so angry he thinks about strangling him.

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While he and his friend are discussing this, he witnesses an altercation with a low-class woman and a low-class man. It might seem a little odd to us now to see such opulence next to such depravity, but a lot of cities were like that for a while, think of 42nd Street in New York, “where the underworld can meet the elite” [from musical 42nd Street].

The good doctor picks her up and carries her into her room. While the film never addresses it, or says exactly what she is, this woman, Ivy, is; but based on the way she acts (and the amount of men she is with) it is safe to say she is a prostitute. In later films and musicals, they make it more definite.

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Anyways, when he gets her in bed, she shows him where the man hurt her, bruising her leg, and not just her leg but upper thigh. Yep, this where the liberties of the pre-code begin.

He tells her all she needs is rest, and Ivy insinuates she’d like him in bed with her.

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He of course moves away from the bed, but Ivy hasn’t given up yet. She likes that he is a gentleman and gives him a strip tease before she gets into bed.

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She sticks out her bare leg, BARE LEG, for Dr. Jekyll to examine as her knee is “broken”. When he comes over, she kisses him, and Dr. Jekyll doesn’t stop the kiss.

As they are kissing, his friend walks in. They leave, with Ivey swinging her leg back and forth and inviting Jekyll to come back anytime.

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In fact as the two leave, her leg continues to swing back and forth over them slowly dissolving and showing how both men are still focused on it.

So the film presents these two women show the duality that Dr. Jekyll will become.

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On one hand we have brunette Muriel, demure, sweet, kind, innocence, a lady: that has awoken feelings of love that he has never been aware of before. On the other hand we have the low class, brassy, blonde, who is highly sexual. She has awakened a lust in him and he wants her to satisfy his longing, but doesn’t want anymore than that.

So he and his friend leave, with his friend appalled at his actions.

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Dr. Lanyon: Perhaps you’re forgetting, you’re engaged to Muriel.

Dr. Jekyll: Forgotten it? Can a man dying of thirst forget water? And do you know what would happen to that thirst if it were to be denied water?

Dr. Lanyon: If I understand you correctly, you sound almost indecent.

Now the problem in Dr. Jekyll’s case is not the Puritan viewpoints of the Victorian Era, a lot of people fall into that misconception. You see a man releasing his sexual drive with prostitutes was actually expected. Sex with a wife was viewed more for children, not “fun”. Dr. Jekyll’s problem is that he does not want to be a regular person who suffers from temptation and desire, he wants to be rid of it completely. He wants so badly to be perfectly good, hence all his charity work, and he wants to remove the ability to even “fall into sin”. Instead of having to make a choice, he wants to remove all need for morality as all would be good and make “good decisions.” He wants to be more than a mere, average, man.

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The problem is that what he strives for is impossible, he is only setting himself up for failure and going to cause an extreme downfall.

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Dr. Jekyll returns to his lab working day and night, not sleeping or eating, all in his quest to split the soul. He makes the potion and decides to test it on himself.

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But in his defense, he does pen a letter telling Muriel he loves her and that he died in the pursuit of science.

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If my love went this way, it wouldn’t make me happy but at least you know he was thinking of you.

So then he looks into the mirror and drinks the potion down.

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As he is doing that, he goes through all those emotions he has been trying to ignore: wrath, lust, greed-they all swarm around him.

He looks in the mirror and we see this ugly thing. Now Dr. Jekyll was a tall, strong, good-looking man . This side hasn’t been used as much so he’s hunched, shorter, also doesn’t look as strong as Jekyll does. He’s more animalistic, apelike, covered in hair, large giant teeth.

Now something you might have noticed is the large amount of mirrors in this movie. There are so many to symbolize the duality of man. The mirror only shows the outside of a person, not their true inner self. The mirror is supposed to show our reflection, but sometimes people see only what they wish to see, not what is really there. The mirror is the only way we are able to see what everyone else sees, and a way in which we can construct what we want people to see in us.

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I could go on longer, but let’s get back to the film.

So the first thing that his darker self, Mr. Hyde, does is cheer about how happy he is to be free. So long has Jekyll kept him crippled, living a good life, and denying the dark side. But now that he las let him out, will he be able to contain him again?

So Hyde is excited to be out and plans to roam the streets, when his butler knocks on the door. Hyde talks to him, but even though he is Dr. Jekyll, he doesn’t sound like him anymore. The butler is afraid and about to come in, so Dr. Jekyll changes back into his true self.

Dr. Jekyll has done it, he has actually done it.

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But while he is pleased his experiment worked, at the same time he is afraid to let the dark side out. But it starts haunting him, tempting him.

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He goes to Muriel to plead with her to marry him now. He is afraid that without her, he might make some very bad decisions. But Muriel and her father are leaving for a trip to Bath for a week.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Muriel asks him to wait for her, and he agrees, but you can see in his face he doesn’t really want to wait. What he really wants is to be satisfied NOW!

Dr. Jekyll is in a tizzy. That swinging leg is still in his mind, along with his potion and he is worried that without Muriel to remind him of what he truly wants, he may give into the temptation.

He then receives a letter from Muriel stating that their week trip, is turning into a month.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Dr. Jekyll has been sitting in his lab, moping and withdrawn from society and his patients. His butler is worried for him and tells him he should go out.

Butler Poole: You should go out, sir. London offers many amusements for a gentlemen like you, sir.

Dr. Jekyll: Yes, but gentlemen like me daren’t take advantage of them, Poole. Gentlemen like me have to be very careful of what we do or say.

Now Poole, the Butler, is trying to get Jekyll to go to the opera, museum, see a play, visit with friends, etc.: something not in the house. But Dr. Jekyll think of those things? No. Immediately his mind goes straight to sex. He cannot control this emotions, and I think that if he could just admit to himself that he is a man and has faults, instead of trying to make himself be perfect being he wouldn’t struggle as hard. Yes Dr. Jekyll, you are good, but just because you are good doesn’t mean that you don’t have flaws, you need to accept that.

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And you know Dr. Jekyll could choose something else to do with his time, but that’s not what he wants. He wants to be with a woman. But he as Jekyll does not want to ruin his reputation, his good name, so instead he looks to another avenue.

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Man this transformation looks so painful, I wouldn’t want to do it. This time he looks even uglier, more monstrous, brutish.

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He goes after Ivy, the girl who has awakened his lust. She’s not home but out at the nearby tavern, so Hyde heads there. Even the way that he moves is brutish and apelike.

He meets up with Ivy:

So he tries to be a “gentlemen” as that is what Ivy wants, but can’t pull it off as Hyde as he is too dark in his actions.

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He wants her to be his mistress and while Ivy refuses initially, Hyde makes it clear he gets what he wants.

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He grabs her acting like an animal, and threatens her. Tells her he loves her but all he wants is sex. In reality he doesn’t love her, he’s attracted to her but wants a placeholder for Muriel.

In the next scene we see Ivy has agreed to being a kept woman, but not because she wants a nice home or things, but because she is scared out of her mind that Hyde will kill her.

Hyde comes to visit her, and we see that he is taller, standing upright, and much stronger looking then before. He is also uglier. It seems that Jekyll has been living Hyde more and more making him much stronger than the good Jekyll side.

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As soon as Hyde enters the room, he heads straight to the bed, reading the paper. In there he notices that Muriel will be returning.

Spoke too soon

He forgot about that pesky fiancé of Jekyll, this means bad news for Hyde. Here we see that Dr. Jekyll has actually failed. He wanted to separate the two so that one can be destroyed and the good can only endure. But in fact that is not what has happened. Jekyll, when present is always conscious of his desires the Hyde. Hyde while bad and does what he wants, he too is conscious of the good Jekyll, not always choosing to follow. So he never split them, they still are in struggle, he just gave more of himself and power over to his dark side.

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In fact the only real difference is that he feels okay being bad as he is not “Dr. Jekyll”. No one knows who he is, so he can do whatever he wants. Kind of like those people who get on the internet and feel free to do whatever as no one knows who they are.

Anyways, so Hyde makes sure Ivy doesn’t think about leaving him, being emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive to her.

Jekyll and Hyde

Then he heads home as Dr. Jekyll wants out. Muriel is coming home, so he takes the potion and returns.

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But we see all is not well, as his eyes are CRAZED. Dr. Jekyll is losing the war and Hyde is taking over.

He goes to Muriel who is upset that he hasn’t answered any of her letters. He apologizes and tells her he has been sick in mind. He begs her to marry him now instead of later as he NEEDS her. She agrees and the beg her father, who finally gives in. They invite him for dinner the next night, when they will announce to everyone that the two are to be married the next month.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Meanwhile, back in Ivy’s house, her landlady is helping tend to her wounds done by Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, feeling remorse for what has happened has sent over £60. Ivy isn’t sure who Dr. Jekyll is, as she didn’t now the name of the doctor who saved her earlier, but decides to see this man in the hopes he can stop Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll goes home, happy and plays the organ. And this time it isn’t light and airy, but dark and creepy. Hyde is still lurking, strong.

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He is interrupted by Ivy who has come to see him. She begs him for help, ripping her top off to show him the whipping that Hyde gave her.

Spoke too soon

Heere Dr. Jekyll is forced to look at the consequences of his actions. He thought it would be okay to have the Hyde do what he wants, and Jekyll what he wants. But no, as both are a part of him, both are connected and cannot be separated.It was all an illusion to think so.

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Jekyll promises Ivy that Hyde is gone forever, he will never bother her again. And Dr. Jekyll intends to keep it that way as he is to wed Muriel, he no longer needs Hyde.

He's gone for good

He’s gone for good

But that’s where you are wrong Jekyll. You have given Hyde too much power, and now you will be unable to control him.

Dr. Jekyll walks to the General’s house for dinner when he spots a pretty robin singing. As he looks at him a cat eats him, which upsets Jekyll. And as that happens, Jekyll starts to become Hyde.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

You see Hyde cannot easily be kept down and he does not want to be. Jekyll has given him too much power and liberties. All he needs is for Jekyll to feel dark things: anger, greed, lust, violence, etc and Hyde will come out.

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I know some of you might be tired of all the Star Wars memes and quotes and think I need to cool my obsession, but in a way Star Wars is similar to Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, particularly Anakin Skywalker. Dr. Jekyll is a man that doesn’t quite follow the rules. There is a moral code to science he should follow, but chooses to ignore it and continue in his experiment, one that ends up having him release his dark side and live out all those emotions and desires with no thought on how this will affect others. With Anakin, he too follows his own code as he doesn’t agree with all the Jedi rules. One of which is not to marry as the powers you have, when tied to emotions, can do some pretty bad things. Both people give into those darker sides, ultimately completely going over to the dark side.

Anyways, so now with Hyde out, he heads over to see Ivy. Hyde hates Dr. Jekyll, as Dr. Jekyll has kept him contained for so long, and still tries to imprison him. Ivy going to him is the ultimate betrayal, and for that she must die.

Jekyll and Hyde

So as he is heading over there we get a great camera view. They split the screen so that in the upper left Hyde is heading off to get Ivy, and in the lower right, Muriel is waiting for Jekyll. As the camera pans in Muriel, we see that she not happy at all. Then Murial is in the lower left and Ivy is in the upper right, celebrating the end of Hyde.

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Except Hyde is not quite finished:

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Hyde kills her, but as he is escaping, the others in the building have heard what he has done and follow him.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

He sneaks to Dr. Jekyll’s house, but the butler won’t let him in. So he runs to the tavern and writes a note (as his handwriting is the same), asking his friend for chemicals and saying Hyde will pick up the package.

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His friend follows the instructions, but when Hyde comes, he won’t let him leave, unless he promises to take him to see Dr. Jekyll. As Hyde can’t, although let’s be honest Dr. Jekyll is coming through in this moment as he wants to be changed back, and takes the potion, warning his friend about what he will see.

Mr. Hyde: Think before you decide, I tell you! Do you want to be left as you are, or do you want your eyes and your soul to be blasted by a sight that would stagger the devil himself?

When the Dr. Lanyon sees the transformation, he is in utter shock.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

He tells him that he warned him not to do it, that he should have listened to him. Dr. Jekyll agrees, but says that he can control it now. That he will never, ever again become Hyde. Dr. Lanyon warns him that is not true. It is over, he is no longer in control.

Dr. Lanyon: You’re a rebel, and see what it has done for you. You’re in the power of this monster that you have created.

Dr. Jekyll: I’ll never take that drug again!

Dr. Lanyon: Yes, but you told me you became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.

Dr. Jekyll: It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!

Dr. Lanyon: Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!

They both agree that he must give Muriel up as he might kill her like he did Ivy. The next night he goes to Muriel and tells her that it is over.

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But Muriel doesn’t want to end the relationship, she loves him. But Dr. Jekyll knows it is best to set her free. She tries to hug, him and he doesn’t want her too, as he is afraid it will release Hyde, He is completely  broken in this scene as he loves her so much, but knows that any further involvement means death for her.

Dr. Jekyll: I have no soul. I’m beyond the pale. I’m one of the living dead!

She grabs him and they both sob, but then he leaves, and she continues to cry.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

As she is indoors crying, Jekyll changes into Hyde, and Hyde sneaks into the house attacking her. When she screams her father and butler came after Hyde, who attacks both of them, beating the father.

He runs home to change back into Jekyll, but it is too late. Dr. Lanyon looks after the General and sees the broken cane Hyde dropped, recognizing it as Dr. Jekyll’s.

They return to his house accusing him of being the murderer. When Dr. Jekyll becomes scared and angry, he turns back into Hyde.

You can’t help but feel bad for Dr. Jekyll. He was  a good man that wanted to do something for the good of all, but as they say: “The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.”

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So marks the first post of Horrorfest and there are many good movies coming along. Stay tuned!

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As it has become a yearly tradition, my facebookcover/mini poster.

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For more mad scientists, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more on men creating monsters, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more on Star Wars, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

For more films based on books, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)